Ky. Gov. Beshear, SMI Chairman Smith Tour Improved Kentucky Speedway Infrastructure
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and Speedway Motorsports, Inc., (SMI) Chairman and CEO Bruton Smith toured expanded infrastructure that will streamline traffic flows for three NASCAR events that make up Kentucky Speedway's June 28-30 "Quaker State 400" weekend as well as future events at the 107,000-seat venue.
The State of Kentucky completed projects which expanded Kentucky Highway 35 to seven lanes, widened the I-71 ramp to Ky. Hwy. 35 to three lanes and constructed a pedestrian tunnel that will connect the massive new Ford Parking lot east of Ky. Hwy. 35 to Kentucky Speedway.
In addition to acquiring and engineering 170 new acres for the Ford Parking lot, Kentucky Speedway converted 50 new acres of previously unusable land to parking and added gravel aisles to 100 acres of previously all-grass parking. In total, the projects yielded parking for an additional 20,000 vehicles compared to 2011.
"I commend Bruton Smith and (Kentucky Speedway General Manager) Mark Simendinger and all the other people at Kentucky Speedway for the obvious improvements that have been made to this facility. Equally important has been their resolve to make the Quaker State 400 the showcase event it deserves to be," said Gov. Beshear. "Their investment and their resolve made it easy for us to also invest in roadway improvements to increase traffic capacity in the vicinity of Kentucky Speedway. We obviously have a great number of passionate NASCAR fans in this region. Kentucky Speedway is ideally situated to draw from those fans in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Tennessee and even farther, and we look forward to this race being a signature event for many years to come."
The speedway further contracted Veteran's Security and Patrol, Co., as its new parking management service and partnered with nationally-recognized engineering firm Stantec to create a simulation model which helped shape a new speedway traffic management plan by predicting numerous scenarios managers may encounter on event days.
Kentucky Speedway complemented the infrastructure expansions by constructing a new overpass to its infield tunnel road which will allow a bolstered fleet of free guest trams to efficiently travel designated routes to gates and points of interest on race days.
"We made a lot of promises to all of you and we're going to prove to you today that we have fulfilled all those promises.
"You're going to see a tremendous amount of parking that's been added. You're going to see a lot of camping that has been added. We look at Kentucky 35 as seven lanes and we'll be using all seven if necessary. You'll see a great tunnel that the state has built to bring all the pedestrians right in to the speedway.
"It's been a lot of hard work by a lot contractors. It's done, I'm very proud of it and delighted to show it to you today," Smith commented to assembled media prior to the tour.
Kentucky Speedway General Manager Mark Simendinger applauded the efforts made by Gov. Beshear and Smith following last season's "Quaker State 400" weekend.
"It is important to recognize the leadership Gov. Beshear and Bruton Smith displayed through the past year to make these improvements possible. They continue their shared commitment to making Kentucky Speedway the best motorsports venue in the country," Simendinger said.
Kentucky State Police and Kentucky Speedway will partner to provide race fans frequent race day traffic updates through a mix of Facebook (Kentucky State Police / Kentucky Speedway) and Twitter (@kystatepolice / @KySpeedway) messages, information radio station 1620 AM which can be heard within a five-mile radius of the speedway as well as Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana media outlets.
The Saturday, June 30 "Quaker State 400" anchors a weekend that opens Thursday, June 28 with the Camping World Truck Series "UNOH 225" and continues Friday, June 29 with the Nationwide Series "Feed The Children 300."
Tickets, campsites and daily infield Fan Zone passes for all events can be purchased through the Tickets page of this Web site, by calling (859) 578-2300 or visiting the Kentucky Speedway corporate offices at 1 Speedway Drive, Sparta, Ky., 41086 just off of Interstate 71 Exit 57 and the newly- expanded, seven-lane Kentucky Highway 35.
Story by Mike Schmaltz